Oyster plant-vegetable oyster-salsify, is one of the most delightful vegetables. It should not be used until after heavy frosts and is at its best in the spring after being in the ground all winter. Whatever is dug more than is to be used each time, should be kept in sand in a cool place.
To prepare for cooking, soak in cold water 3 or 4 hours, or over night. Scrape on a vegetable board with a knife and drop each root into a large quantity of cold water as soon as scraped to keep it from turning dark.
When very fresh, oyster plant will cook in 10 m., but late in the season it often requires a half hour. Cook until tender only, not soft.
The flavor of the oyster plant is in the water, so there should always be some liquid left to form part of the sauce.
A little cream is required to develop the flavor of oyster plant.
Water and cream are better than milk.
If there should be dark spots through the oyster plant, be sure that every particle is removed, as one little piece with a dark spot in it will flavor the whole dish.
The carbohydrates of oyster plant do not include starch.
Cut scraped roots into slices 1/4 - 1/3 in. thick according to size, and drop into the water in which they are to be cooked, an equal quantity, usually. Boil without salt for 10-25 m. When nearly tender, add salt.
To the oyster plant liquor, add a little heavy cream, and when boiling, add flour blended with water to make of a creamy consistency; salt if necessary. Chopped parsley may sometimes be added, and a little celery salt occasionally, but oyster plant will not admit of the addition of many flavors. If to be served on toast or rice, or in a rice border, a little onion juice may be added.
Cook oyster plant in 2-in. lengths in a small quantity of water. Add sauce 40, heat, serve on toast or rice.
Use 1/3 or 1/2 cooked celery or corn in recipe for stewed oyster plant.